Nigeria marks one year of COVID-19, NCDC advocates adherence to protocols | Ripples Nigeria
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Nigeria marks one year of COVID-19, NCDC advocates adherence to protocols



The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Saturday called for continued adherence to the public health and social measures as the country marks one year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigeria recorded its index COVID-19 case on February 27, 2020.

The country currently has 155, 076 confirmed cases and 1, 902 fatalities.

However, Nigeria has recorded 132,544 recoveries since the onset of the pandemic in the country one year ago.

The NCDC Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who made the call in a chat with journalists in Abuja, said the country’s response since last year had been led by science.

He added that the national response was also driven by the power of coordination, collaboration and solidarity across the Federal and State Governments, partners, private sector, and citizens.

Ihekweazu said: “Prior to the confirmation of the first case in Nigeria, NCDC with support from its partners began preparedness activities.

“The NCDC began working with the states and hospitals to map out and establish isolation and treatment centres for managing COVID-19 cases.

“In addition to this, NCDC began training of health workers across the states on case management, infection prevention control (IPC), surveillance, risk communication and other areas of epidemic preparedness and response.”

The NCDC chief stressed that the agency also began to preposition medical supplies such as personal protective equipment to all states.

He added: “More importantly, the agency developed preparedness guidelines and plans that incorporated an all-inclusive ‘One Health’ approach.

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“In the last one year, NCDC has been working under the Presidential Task Force on COVID- 19 (PTF-COVID-19) chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.

“This has enabled a multi-sectoral response to the pandemic, which has affected multiple facets of Nigeria’s economy.”

The NCDC director-general said the agency had led Nigeria’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These, according to him, include establishing and scaling up capacity for COVID-19 testing, surveillance activities, developing public health guidelines, as well as providing technical support to the states.

“The pandemic also provided the opportunity to rapidly scale up Nigeria’s public health infrastructure.

“One of such areas is the establishment of more than 70 public health laboratories across the country, with at least one public health laboratory for COVID-19 testing in each state,” Ihekweazu stated.

He said the country truly united in solidarity against the virus in 2020.

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